Increased evidence highlighting the impact of climate change on health was reviewed as climate adaptation needs in climate vulnerable countries are set to skyrocket to as much as $340 billion a year by 2030 (source WHO new report Zero Regrets) . Yet adaptation support today stands at less than one-tenth of that amount with less than five percent targeting health specifically. Limited attention and financial support for climate adaptation have led to a decrease in health gains in low-and-middle-income countries and numerous climate-related health risks impacting vulnerable populations around the world.
The One Sustainable Health for All Forum implemented a unique “South-to North” approach. Prior to the physical gathering in Lyon, the Forum organized four international preparatory sessions, held in Bangladesh, Brazil, Lebanon, and Senegal. Each of those meetings addressed critical health issues unique to their respective regions and issued community-led recommendations to achieve sustainable One Health outcomes worldwide. From addressing climate-induced health consequences in vulnerable coastal regions to preserving Indigenous Peoples knowledge and promoting health equity, the sessions around the globe contributed to change the narrative and deepen the sense of urgency.
The urgency of the situation was underscored throughout, as participants recognized the alarming effects of climate change on health worldwide. The subject of one sustainable health for all is rapidly gaining global traction. In the week of July 5-7 witnessed alone, three crucial international meetings took place: in Budapest, Lyon, and Amsterdam, focusing on different dimensions and stakeholder roles in climate and health. This simultaneous occurrence serves as a powerful signal of the pressing need felt for collective intelligence and immediate action for One Health. All three meetings shared a common thread: the recognition that smart and innovative collaborations are essential in addressing the complex challenges faced by us all to ensure a healthier future and a safer planet. While each gathering had its unique focus, all were all united in the shared vision of international solidarity, environmental stewardship, and tackling overconsumption to ensure a healthier planet.
The OSH Forum showcased a myriad of inspiring examples of potentials and formats for collaboration and innovation for planetary, human and animal health together. The event will continue as a platform to break silos and stimulate collaboration between governments, academics, civil society, and community groups.
From the OSH Forum in Lyon emerged a clear call to action. All contributions stemmed from solid practical experience and a deep commitment to sustainable health for all.
One Health is achievable: The time to act is now!
Summary of the main Recommendations:
- Education: Prioritize One Sustainable Health education and raise awareness through campaigns and training for public knowledge. Integrate One Sustainable Health in curricula from the earliest years of education through university levels. Preserve and share Indigenous Peoples and local knowledge. Promote intergenerational knowledge transmission and gender equity.
- Financing: Redirect funds from harmful subsidies to the smart environment and health taxation. Promote environmental, health, and social objectives in taxation systems. Establish mechanisms for multisectoral financing and blended funding especially for climate adaptation for the most vulnerable communities in low- and middle-income countries and track the implementation of existing commitments.
- Data & Scientific Evidence: Generate and share cross-sectoral data. Scale up integrated surveillance systems. Establish a One Sustainable Health panel and elevate it at international levels. Integrate health equity indicators in One Health initiatives.
- Strategy & Governance: Eliminate boundaries between specific diseases and break silos between planetary, human, and animal heath with much more resources for prevention programs. Reform global funding mechanisms for epidemic and pandemic prevention. Shape markets and consumer behaviours through public policy changes. Support adaptive social protection systems combining health and climate goals. Establish One Sustainable Health Institutes globally that serve at the local, national, regional, and global levels.
Finally, it was announced by the Minister of State of Senegal, Awa Marie Coll Seck that the next OSH Forum will be held in Dakar (2024), Senegal to continue the movement - This manifests a solid foundation for the collaborative efforts necessary to overcome the challenges of climate change and its impact on health.